From the Desk of Councilmember Amy Cruver
Where has the time gone? The drive-up coffee shops are advertising eggnog lattes, a signal the holidays are near (are you prepared?), which reminds me, are you prepared for what your local government will be considering?
I shared information about specific legislation coming before the Council a short time ago. Ordinance 2023-39 is scheduled for a vote next Tuesday (Oct. 10) during the 3 p.m. council meeting. It addresses personnel policies. They are generally updated every year or two. It is the framework to guide the policies for Pierce County employees. It has several sections.
Personnel policies outline typical procedures for things such as ethics, sick leave, bereavement, administrative and employee responsibilities, etc. This update creates a new section, and it's written peculiarly. The language is confusing or arbitrary and subjective, leading to conflicting interpretations rather than concrete policies. I will offer amendments to address my concerns.
This new section mandates that the values and attitudes of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), as defined, are to be embraced and promoted by our employees, but the definitions are subjective. I’m concerned that lawsuits will become the norm for accusations of discrimination due to the DEI rules. You can see my concerns reflected here, here, here, and here. We don’t need more costly lawsuits.
For some background, in August 2021, I was attending a class reunion when the Council passed R2021-109, reaffirming a commitment to Community Inclusivity. It led to other meetings and the formation of an Equity Review Committee, to where we are today.
This ordinance also replaces proper grammar with improper gender-neutral language. That is not a policy that makes Pierce County better, any more than mandating employees to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion concepts defined in a way that will have different meanings to each county employee.
Ordinance 2023-39 has received many comments. I am pleased to see your increased participation in your government, working to “persuade” elected officials to understand and know your position.
I will explore the tenets of a recently discovered concept, Merit, Fairness, Equality (MFE), described by Dorian Abbot, as a replacement for DEI. I watched him in a discussion that increased my desire to look further into the Kalvin Report (The Kalven Report - YouTube, see below) that applies MFE principles to a college setting, which we could easily adapt to a government setting.
I hope this information has value for you.
Grateful for you!